May 31, 2023

Why Korea Needs The BBC World Service

A BBC Korean service would be an important step forward for the UK's involvement in Korean peninsula affairs

Since last month’s announcement of a proposal for the BBC to launch a Korean language radio service, the idea has drawn widespread approval. In February NK NEWS reported on the story after UK Members of Parliament tabled an Early Day Motion recommending World Service transmissions be extended to the Korean peninsula. Supporters have cited the potential for disseminating impartial news and information to North Korea. However, a Korean language service could also present a refreshing, alternative news source for South Koreans, while also being an important step in the UK expanding its involvement in the affairs of peninsula.

The UK is uniquely placed to exert influence that is not tarnished in the same way as Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, both with explicit connections to North Korea’s “enemy number one”,  the U.S. government. “The UK is not considered by North Korea as being as imperialistic as America and in fact the UK and North Korea enjoy a formal diplomatic relationship,” said Raphael Rashid, campaign manager for the ‘BBC for Korea’ Facebook group.